Getty Images buys music licensing start-up Pump Audio

Stock photo site continues its push into the digital media market by purchasing the independent music licensing company for $42 million.

Getty Images, which made a name for itself as a stock photography clearinghouse, announced Wednesday it has purchased Pump Audio, which licenses independent music to advertising and media clients. The price of the acquisition, according to a release from Getty, was $42 million.

This is the most recent in a series of moves on Getty's part to expand beyond photography and into the digital media sector. Last month, it launched a new division in the company to license video footage and other multimedia content, and over the past few months has chalked up a string of acquisitions, from amateur photography site Scoopt to smaller competitors like iStockphoto. The Pump Audio buy, however, marks Getty's first foray into music licensing.

For Pump Audio, which made a splash at last year's OnHollywood conference, the acquisition means that the start-up now has the keys to unlock a much broader sphere of influence. "The combination with Getty Images will give many more creative customers access to great original music," said Steve Ellis, the company's founder and CEO, "and at the same time will provide our contributing artists access to a huge, global marketplace."

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.


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